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As the drivers floor to clear the intersection, rival caravan cascade from every direction. Sacks of rice, families of people, chickens and pigs crammed in every free space make load of these competing vehicles. Bicyclists make haste as well, veering in and out of every nook and cranny just to find their place amidst the chaos. For pedestrians, getting across the city to market can mean playing full-time frogger. A chorus of horns, engine purrs, and loudly negotiated rickshaw fares sets the soundtrack to this all. This is the heartbeat of industrial Cambodia. Without it, getting from Point A to Point B would be a simple, familiar, ordinary task. But as with many things in this country, such is never the case.

Cambodia's transportation infrastructure is made up of 36,000 km of highway (50% paved, 50% not-so-paved), 603 km of railway, 3,700 km of waterway, and two major shipping ports. Much of the well-being of Cambodia depends on this infrastructure, whether it be for the purpose of communication, moving of goods, or safety. And like much of the developing world, Cambodia is no exception in that the conditions of these passes are often uncertain at best.

During the time that I have spent here, I have learned a great deal about what transportation has to say for development and ways of life. I can list the numerous modes of transit I have taken (Tuk-Tuk rickshaws, pickup trucks, bamboo trains, bicycles, pony wagons, vans, minibuses, fishing boats, and more), contemplate the number of hours I have spent getting accross Cambodia (possibly enough to fill days), and speculate the various ways that all of this has effected me physically (i'm becoming an expert at managing crammed spaces).

But there is a greater picture that all of these different ideas help to paint. Cambodia is a country in which the human will is tested to the point of realizing its full capacity. It's in those definitive moments-- when a person steps out into the field of cascading vehicles, or hops on the back of a pickup truck that already grew full about ten people ago, or climbs aboard a rickety bed of bamboo that will certainly move no faster than a jog's pace-- that the determination of a naturally migrant being is stretched to its fullest, and then some more. The heartbeat of Cambodia then becomes the heartbeat of the individual.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Cambodia: From Point A to Point B

Adam Brooks,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

As the drivers floor to clear the intersection, rival caravan cascade from every direction. Sacks of rice, families of people, chickens and pigs crammed in every free space make load of these competing vehicles. Bicyclists make haste as well, veering in and out of every nook and cranny just to find their place amidst the […]

Posted On

08/6/08

Author

Adam Brooks

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For my ISP i decided to research the storage and treatment of water in Cambodia and how water is related to the trasmission of disease.

Most families collect water through a rain catchment system that runs from their roof into large stone vats on the side of their homes. These vats hold roughly 20 gallons and are not sealed after being filled. The family uses this water for eveything from bathing to preparing meals. In some areas water is obtained from wells or moving streams but these were much rarer.

Once the water has been collected nothing significant is done to sterilize it. The water is only boiled for meals and drinking water but not for washing clothes people or dishes. Even then the water is never filtered and many macro particles that have been brought down from the roof are present in the water supply. Since the vats are not sealed they become prime breeding grounds for many types of insects but mainly mosquitos. In areas where any mosquito bourn illness is prevelant it is extremely important to reduce the number of potential breeding grounds for mosquitos in order to cut down the population. Some larger villages do have access to sand filters which are quite effective for removing large particles from the water but in smaller more rural villages they are very scarce.

Another problem that arises from the treatment of water is how it relates to sanitation. In many households the bathing area is mainly dirt or mud and rarely dries completly. The puddles that form from the lack of a drainage system breed all types of infectious bacteria and worms that can enter the body.

In terms of plumbing many households do not have a septic tank or cess pool and instead their waste is introduced directly into either the river or the ocean. Since both sources of water are essential for life and they are contaminated by waste. Sewage needs to be stored until it can be broken down and reabsorbed by the earth.

The main problem that comes from the mistreatment of water is the spread of disease. Not only are malaria and dengue fever spread by mosquitos who rely on stagnant pools of water to breed, the lack of purification means that water can contain bacteria and ameobas that can cause many serious GI problems. Also possible is bacterial infections that can be fatal esspecially if left untreated.

Water treatment is essential to a developing country for the health of its people and its natural resources.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Water in Cambodia

Grace Seigle,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

For my ISP i decided to research the storage and treatment of water in Cambodia and how water is related to the trasmission of disease. Most families collect water through a rain catchment system that runs from their roof into large stone vats on the side of their homes. These vats hold roughly 20 gallons […]

Posted On

08/6/08

Author

Grace Seigle

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My ISP (Independent study project) on Cambodian fishing focused on both the techniques of catching the fish and how these fish then affect the Cambodian diet and food supply. Fish are an extremely important part of the Cambodian diet with eighty-five percent of protein coming from fish products. This protein is vital to growth and normal development of bones, muscles, and the brain in children as well as the maintenance of health in adults. This is why it is so important for Cambodians to have a steady supply of fish in their diets.

An examination of Cambodian fisheries must divide them into two completely different categories: freshwater fisheries and coastal fisheries. Freshwater fisheries consist of Lake Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater fishery in the entire world, the Mekong River and its tributaries, and small communal ponds and fish farms. These fisheries contain over one hundred and twenty species of fish which are caught and enjoyed mostly on a small, local scale. Fishermen go out in small canoes and use nets to capture all the fish in a given area. These fishermen are highly skilled and can throw the nets in a perfect circle ensuring the widest area is covered so that the maximum number of fish possible can be caught. This net is then dragged into the boat and the fish are then eaten by the family or sold at a local market.

Coastal fisheries are radically different from the small scale of the freshwater fisheries. These are large scale commercial fishing operations with large boats and professional fishermen. Many shellfish are caught here such as lobster, squid, and shrimp, in addition to snapper. These fish are always sold in markets or exported domestically or to Vietnam.

The Mekong River currently faces a lot of polution and daming upstream which currently has a very negative effect on its fish species. China, especially, continues to poor polutants into the River which constitute a conservation threat. Corrupt officials in the federal government and on the local level also constitute a threat to local fishermen along the Tonle Sap as they have been known to sell off areas of the Lake without warning to private investors who charge for permits to enter. Corrupt officials also may charge for permits which do not actually exist. These roadblocks continue to challenge local fishermen, many of whom survive on less than a dollar a day.

With fish playing such an important role in Cambodian life their conservation must be of the utmost importance to the Cambodian government. In the future, the issue of pollution in the Mekong will probably be a major international issue between the countries which lay along the lower Mekong and China. What is for sure, however, is that fish will remain a vital part of the Cambodian diet for years to come and, without them, the country would be radically different.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Fishing in Cambodia

Lorne Schweitzer,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

My ISP (Independent study project) on Cambodian fishing focused on both the techniques of catching the fish and how these fish then affect the Cambodian diet and food supply. Fish are an extremely important part of the Cambodian diet with eighty-five percent of protein coming from fish products. This protein is vital to growth and […]

Posted On

08/6/08

Author

Lorne Schweitzer

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Tourism is the most important element of the Cambodian Economy. There are many different facets of tourism that make it difficult to generalize, whether tourism in Cambodia is "bad" or "good". To an untrained eye tourism is a great thing. It brings people and money to the country. After looking deeper, you find that just because that money is coming to the country it doesn't necessarily mean that it is staying, somtimes it goes to not so great place in the country or sometimes it goes to another country all together. From my observations, which I will not claim that I have seen from a trained eye, I see Cambodia catering to three different groups of tourist: Sex Tourist, Luxury Tourist, and Backpackers.

It is amazing that the sex industry in Cambodia is so large that is a destination that people come to only to enjoy its benefits. The sex industry has three main hubs: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville. All three types of tourism can overlap, making it difficult to make generalizations about those who come for taking part in this type of activity. It also seems that some western men come to Cambodia to find companionship. This is evident from the western men that tour the Angkor Wat temples with their Cambodian companions. It is difficult for me to say whether this industry is totally awful. Sure the morals which are displayed by both sides are bad, but in some was it is giving the woman a sufficient income that could not be found anywhere else.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Tourism in Cambodia: A Brief Overview Part 1

Matt Moore,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Tourism is the most important element of the Cambodian Economy. There are many different facets of tourism that make it difficult to generalize, whether tourism in Cambodia is "bad" or "good". To an untrained eye tourism is a great thing. It brings people and money to the country. After looking deeper, you find that just […]

Posted On

08/6/08

Author

Matt Moore

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    [post_content] => I explored how Cambodians show affection for my independent study project. I really thought about this as a project for myself and my interests, and I am still thinking over the experiences I have had and the scenes I have witnessed. All of my research was strictly observational, and I have no concrete facts or any real conclusion. And I'm okay with that. I have specific memories full of different emotions, circumstances, and actions that I can express. I plan on writing a short story, which I will post later. 
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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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ISP

Sam Moog,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

I explored how Cambodians show affection for my independent study project. I really thought about this as a project for myself and my interests, and I am still thinking over the experiences I have had and the scenes I have witnessed. All of my research was strictly observational, and I have no concrete facts or […]

Posted On

08/6/08

Author

Sam Moog

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    [post_content] => It wasn't until I had a chance to see the natural bueaty of the Cambodian wilderness that I had any idea of my ISP topic. Once I had seen this bueaty, however, my topic was quickly decided. I began to research enviromental conservation in Cambodia. This exposed the enviromental perril that Cambodia is in. Outside of ecotourism there are few initiatives to preserve the ecosystem of this country. The things I have seen and experienced in this country have demostrated to me the need for enviromental activism.
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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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ISP

Julian LeCraw,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

It wasn’t until I had a chance to see the natural bueaty of the Cambodian wilderness that I had any idea of my ISP topic. Once I had seen this bueaty, however, my topic was quickly decided. I began to research enviromental conservation in Cambodia. This exposed the enviromental perril that Cambodia is in. Outside […]

Posted On

08/5/08

Author

Julian LeCraw

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well i was supposed to post a yak yak about my homestay quite sometime ago but ive been busy doing other cool things

my homestay was an amazing expierence i dont think that i could have been paired with a better family i speak little khmer and my host brother spoke little english, but we got along amazing it was interesting how the basic principles of life are the same no matter where you go in the world if i hadnt have gotten sick the last day i think i could have stayed there for another week

although it was a small villiage it was very difficult to get bored there was always something to do whether it was to go play with your brothers in the street or going to wash the family cows in the mekong

life is so much different in prek pdao there so much simpler and slow it was refreshing to be there to take a break from the outside world

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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homestay = awesome

Matt Moore,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

well i was supposed to post a yak yak about my homestay quite sometime ago but ive been busy doing other cool things my homestay was an amazing expierence i dont think that i could have been paired with a better family i speak little khmer and my host brother spoke little english, but we […]

Posted On

08/3/08

Author

Matt Moore

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The place? Predk P'dau, Cambodia, in what is essentially the middle of the jungle. The time? A few minutes after a glorious bucket shower. Andthe context? Vanny, my host-cousin, walking to my house for a post-shower guitar performance. Donning my miniature guitar that I purchased a few weeks earlier in Battambang, I sat on the porchKhmer-style (left leg in indian style and right knee resting on left ankle with leg back) and tuned my guitar in preparation for my acoustic show. I began playing a beautiful song called "A Fair Judgement", a twelve minute progressive death metal song by a Swedish band called Opeth. Captivated, my first female fan listened to my guitar/singing blend. Of course, she did not understand a word of it, and she soon excused herself and left. Slightly discouraged, I continued the song. Emotional turns greatly aid ones guitar playing and this was of no exception. I went from truly proud to humble...and then quickly back to truly proud. Vanny had returned with five Khmer friends, one of which I have named Ni Hao because she speaks Khmer and Chinese and thus I can only communicate with her with broken Khmer/Chinese. I finished the song and recieved a grand round of applause. This concert was just beginning. After a quick flurryof "Or-Kun"s (thank you), I began playing Prelude Cello Suite by Bach. Ni Hao dissapeared halfway through and brought back five more girls! I played a few more songs(and my audience grew by 10 more in the process) and gave a few short bows. It can be said that I brought the other side of metal to Cambodia. I prefer to say the obvious: I just captivated 30 beautiful Khmer girls.

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Cambodia, Summer 2008

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The Other Heavy Metal…In Cambodia

Oliver Scher,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

The place? Predk P’dau, Cambodia, in what is essentially the middle of the jungle. The time? A few minutes after a glorious bucket shower. Andthe context? Vanny, my host-cousin, walking to my house for a post-shower guitar performance. Donning my miniature guitar that I purchased a few weeks earlier in Battambang, I sat on the […]

Posted On

07/31/08

Author

Oliver Scher

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    [post_content] => Sihanouk Ville Poem I

The waves are so serene, blue-green and habitual.
Ground-up diamonds cover the beach as salt and smoke permeate the air.
Lost in an infinity of sky and sea and sand, I find myself with two friends at my side and a constant pulse to guide me.
The waves crash methodically against the shore...
The nose dips, foam whipped, we scream from our lips, and now we're all flipped.
Salt water, tourist baby snot, Cambodian minerals of oblivion all flying in unison through my nose and straight for the depths of my brain.
A beautiful girl, in full youth, mounts a moto and rides off.


Sihanouk Ville Poem II

I wear my unhappiness like a faux smile; strained, vacant, worn, and meant to fool others, but mostly myself.
"Why won't you buy my bracelet?"
A line of bright, raw sewage flowing towards the ocean.
Potatoes float away encountering some spray; the straw rides the wave, looking for some lemonade.
The waves line the white beach, touching the lounge chairs and the metal shacks.
A beautiful girl, in full youth, mounts a moto and rides off.
There's something fishy about this town. [post_title] => Sihanouk Ville [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => sihanouk-ville [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-31 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53555 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 450 [name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [slug] => cambodia-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 450 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 107 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 450 [category_count] => 107 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => cambodia-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/cambodia-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 )

Cambodia, Summer 2008

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Sihanouk Ville

Cambodia Student Group,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Sihanouk Ville Poem I The waves are so serene, blue-green and habitual.Ground-up diamonds cover the beach as salt and smoke permeate the air.Lost in an infinity of sky and sea and sand, I find myself with two friends at my side and a constant pulse to guide me.The waves crash methodically against the shore…The nose […]

Posted On

07/31/08

Author

Cambodia Student Group

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    [post_content] => Susadei!

I write from Sihanoukville, a port town with a booming tourist industry on the beautiful Gulf of Thailand. It is our second day here and students are off exploring the city and working to finalize their independent study projects. With barely over a week left of our adventure, everyone is trying to soak up the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Cambodia as much as possible.

We are currently in our student-directed portion of the program, where students are able to work together to organize the itinerary, logistics, and issues to be explored over the next few days. As of yet, the instructors have been astounded with the effort the students have put into creating meaningful and exciting opportunities for the group, and with the attention the students have paid to the smallest logistical and safety considerations as they plan. The group has come an enormous way from their arrival in Phnom Penh. Each day we watch as they seamlessly integrate themselves into the daily fabric of life here- ordering noodle soup in the morning at a market stand, chatting with the woman selling bracelets on the corner, bargaining fiercely with the tuk tuk driver for a local price, and gliding down the streets in their colorful sarongs.

Tomorrow, the group will head out to an island called Koh Rong Samlon, known for its protected heart-shaped bay. Koh Rong Samlon, while only an hour from the mainland, will be a fascinating contrast to Sihanoukville as the island remains secluded and rural, little-effected by the tourism nearby. The island will provide an ideal setting for continued exploration of development, student ISP presentations, and individual reflection time. We plan on spending several days on Koh Rong Samlon before heading back to Sihanoukville en route to Phnom Penh.

Our days continue to be filled with rich learning opportunities, new insight and understanding, and lots of laughter.

We will update you soon and send lots of love back home!


Alex [post_title] => As the sun sets and air cools by the ocean [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => as-the-sun-sets-and-air-cools-by-the-ocean [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2008-07-31 00:00:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 1970-01-01 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://yakyak.chandigarhsoftware.com/?p=53563 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw [categories] => Array ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 450 [name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [slug] => cambodia-summer-2008 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 450 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 248 [count] => 107 [filter] => raw [term_order] => 29.1 [cat_ID] => 450 [category_count] => 107 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 [category_nicename] => cambodia-summer-2008 [category_parent] => 248 [link] => https://my.wheretherebedragons.com/category/summer-2008/cambodia-summer-2008/ ) ) [category_links] => Cambodia, Summer 2008 )

Cambodia, Summer 2008

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As the sun sets and air cools by the ocean

Alex Kendall,Cambodia, Summer 2008

Description

Susadei! I write from Sihanoukville, a port town with a booming tourist industry on the beautiful Gulf of Thailand. It is our second day here and students are off exploring the city and working to finalize their independent study projects. With barely over a week left of our adventure, everyone is trying to soak up […]

Posted On

07/31/08

Author

Alex Kendall

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